Breakthrough Genetic Solution For Clubroot Registered

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, has received registration for new hybrid that provides a genetic solution for clubroot, a major problem spreading quickly across Alberta.

Pioneer brand 45H29, the first and only hybrid in the marketplace to provide genetic resistance to clubroot, demonstrates similar yield potential to leading commercially available hybrids as well as strong agronomic characteristics. It also contains the Roundup Ready trait.

Clubroot was discovered six years ago in several canola fields in the Edmonton area. Since 2003, it has spread rapidly and has become a major disease, effectively removing large areas of land from canola production across 14 counties in the province. The disease can cause up to 80 per cent yield loss.

Getting a solution into the hands of producers so quickly is a major feat. It has been accomplished through a strong partnership between Pioneer Hi-Bred, extension, researchers and government.

“We realized early on how significant a problem clubroot was going to become,” says Ian Grant, president and business director of Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited in Canada. “We mobilized our worldwide research team and enlisted the help of some key partners to find a solution quickly. This genetic clubroot solution clearly demonstrates the depth and scope of Pioneer Hi-Bred’s research and production capabilities.”

“Pioneer moved quickly on this discovery process,” says Steve Strelkov, a plant researcher at the University of Alberta. He worked with Pioneer Hi-Bred to test the resistant lines. “It’s good to have this partnership between private and public institutions. It fosters these synergies and it helps to speed things up and get products into farmers’ hands.”

Pioneer Hi -Bred tes ted 45H29 under heavy disease pressure. “When the trials were evaluated, the new hybrid was shoulder height and the roots were healthy,” says Igor Falak, Pioneer Hi -Bred research scientist. “We used another Pioneer hybrid without the resistance genes as a check. That hybrid was only knee high.”

The company produced some seed of the new hybrid at its winter facility in Chile. There will be a limited quantity for sale this spring and it will be in Product Advancement Trials (PAT), the company’s wide-area field-scale trialing program for product evaluation.

Clubroot spreads mainly by the movement of soil between fields. Disease-causing spores persist in the soil for up to 20 years. Clubroot galls develop on canola roots and starve the above ground parts of the plant of nutrients and water.

As a premier seed supplier, Pioneer Hi-Bred is committed to providing value to the Canadian farmer through high quality products, exceptional science and unparal leled service. In Western Canada, the company is committed to building market share. In the last year, the company has more than doubled its field staff in the west and has opened a state-of-the-art $12 million canola seed production plant in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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